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word of the week: ORIEL WINDOW

August 8, 2010

Oriel Window, Nickerson Mansion

ORIEL WINDOW: a bay window that protrudes from the main wall of a building but does not extend to the ground. Oriel windows are frequently supported by corbels or brackets.

Old Colony Building

Compare the small oriel window of the Nickerson mansion with the large multi-story oriel windows on the Old Colony building. The Old Colony  is the only building remaining in the loop with oriel windows at its four corners.

Click on the photos to ENLARGE them!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. windycindy permalink
    August 19, 2010 12:39 pm

    Absolutely lovely! I never knew the name of this type of archictectural detail. Thank you for the lesson! Are you aware of any contemporary applications of oriel windows in Chicago, or has this design element fallen out of favor?

    • August 22, 2010 11:54 am

      That’s a great question. You can definitely find examples of oriel windows in contemporary architecture all over Chicago and the rest of the country and world. The definition is a broad one: basically a window that protrudes from a structure and does not extend to the ground as bay windows do. Many windows fit this definition in contemporary architecture, but you might have trouble finding an example as classically “cute” as the window on the Nickerson mansion. As I continue my explorations into Chicago’s architecture, I’ll keep an eye out for interesting examples of oriel windows in more modern buildings . . . .

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